Reason Foundation

Reason Foundation

Reason Alert: Road Conditions Improve, State-by-State Rankings

Annual Highway Report ranks state roads on traffic congestion, deficient bridges, spending and more

September 9, 2010

- Annual Report: Road Conditions Improve, Highways In Best Shape In Two Decades
- The Health Care Bill's Seven Empty Promises
- New at Reason

Annual Report: Road Conditions Improve, Highways In Best Shape In Two Decades

State road and highway conditions are the best they've been in 19 years, according to Reason Foundation's 19th Annual Highway Report.  Unfortunately, the recession is partly responsible for the improvement in road conditions: people are driving less which has helped slow pavement deterioration and reduced traffic congestion and fatalities. The annual Reason Foundation study measures the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-owned roads in 11 categories, including deficient bridges, urban traffic congestion, fatality rates, pavement condition, and the number of unsafe narrow rural lanes. National performance in all of those key areas improved in 2008, the most recent year with complete data available. The report's findings include:

-Drivers in California, Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan and Connecticut are stuck in the worst traffic. But nationally, urban Interstate congestion is at its lowest level since 2000.

-Motorists in California and Hawaii have to look out for the most potholes on urban Interstates. Alaska and Rhode Island have the bumpiest rural pavement. Across the country, pavement conditions are the best since 1993.

-Rhode Island has the most troubled bridges in the US, with over 53 percent of its bridges deficient. Over 141,000 (23.7 percent) of America's bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete in 2008, the lowest percentage since 1984.

-Massachusetts has the safest roads with just 0.67 fatalities per 100 million miles driven. Montana and Louisiana have the highest fatality rates, at 2.12 and 2.02 fatalities per 100 million miles driven. Today the U.S. Department of Transportation announced fatalities in 2009 fell even further, to the lowest level since 1950.

-Overall, North Dakota, Montana and Kansas have the most cost-effective state highway systems. Rhode Island, Alaska, California, Hawaii and New York have the least cost-effective roads.

Reason Foundation's complete Annual Highway Report, with detailed state-by-state analysis,
is online here.

USA Today: New Report Shows State Highways in Good Shape
Reuters: Bumpy Economy Cited as Helping Improve U.S. Roads
Bloomberg: U.S. Highway Funds Have Greatest Effect on Rural States, Reason Study Says

The Health Care Bill's Seven Empty Promises

Reason magazine's Peter Suderman examines seven claims about the health care bill that haven't turned out so well:
1. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.
2. It will put Medicare on better fiscal footing.
3. It will cost around $900 billion.
4. It won't cut Medicare benefits.
5. It will be paid for "mostly" by shifting around money that we're already spending.
6. It will give consumers more access and greater choice.
7. It will bring down the price of insurance.

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Obama Against Extending Bush Tax Cuts on Top Earners (Producers?)


Adrian Moore Discusses High-Speed Rail on Fox Business

What's the Matter with Menthols?

A Conversation with Craft Beer Pioneer Fritz Maytag

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